Spanish cuisine

Spanish cuisine

Spanish cuisineThe Spanish cuisine has not only influenced many cuisines in the world, but the actual Spanish cuisine has also been influenced by many regional cuisines. The climate and geography of Spain have also played a big role. They have had an influence on the ingredients which are used and the cooking methods which are adopted widely throughout the country. Are you curious about this Mediterranean cuisine? Make sure to keep on reading!


The Spanish cuisine has a long history and complex history. As mentioned, the cuisine has been influenced by its surrounding regions, its climate and its geography. While one can say that there are a few ingredients which are considered to be staple foods nowadays, these ingredients used to be different in the past. The author Strabo, for example, wrote that the original people in Spain used acorns and nuts are their staple foods. While these foods are still used in the Spanish cuisine, they are not as popular as they used to be among the aboriginal people in Spain. For a long period of time, Spain was part of the Roman Empire. Being under the occupation of the Romans has also had an influence on the Mediterranean cuisine. One of the practices which was introduced by the Romans is the collection and consumption of mushrooms. This practice is still adopted in various parts of Spain. Especially in the north of the country it is still common that people collect mushrooms and prepare them. Another big influence of the Roman Empire is the fact that they introduced the viticulture. Today, it is still very common to drink a glass of wine with the meal you are eating. The spread of the culture of wine is also said to be due to the colonization of the Greeks, since drinking wine was popular among the Greeks.

Brewing and new ingredients

The first people to introduce the technique of brewing to Spain were the Visigoths. The Visigoths were said to have arrived in Spain around 711 AD. This is also the time when Muslim troops crossed the Strait of Gibraltar from Morocco. The Muslim troops consisted of both Berbers and Arabs and they invaded the Iberian Peninsula. The invasion of the Arabs and Berbers led to the introduction of many different ingredients. These ingredients came from all parts of the world, including India and Persia. Some of these ingredients include sugar cane, eggplant, watermelon, lemon and rice. The discovery of America in the 15th century also led to the use of new ingredients. New ingredients which were then used by the Spanish include potatoes, corn, tomatoes, vanilla, chocolate and paprika. There was a big discussion about chocolate. This was due to the fact that the Spanish were the first ones to mix it with sugar. They did this in order to remove the natural bitterness of chocolate.

Routines of meals

Spaniards usually start their day with a continental-style breakfast which is also known as “desayuno”. This breakfast is a relative large breakfast. Thus it is not common to have a snack between breakfast and lunch. Spaniards therefore usually work all the way through to lunch without a break. This is also due to the fact that the lunch break is a long break. Lunch is considered to be the main meal of the day. This meal usually consists of multiple courses. The lunch starts at around 14.00 and finishes around 15.30. After the lunch break, the “sobremesa” follows. This refers to the table-talk. This implies that everyone sits at the table for a little longer after they have finished their food and they talk. It is also common to have a “siesta”. This refers to an afternoon nap. When you go for lunch at a restaurant, it is common to find multiple choices for each course. At home, this is not necessarily the case. At home it is common to have a pasta dish, soup, a salad, a dish which contains meat or fish and a dessert. A desserts usually consists of cheese or fruit. Dinners usually take place late in the evening. They are usually between 20.30 and 22.00. Dinner is not considered to be the main meal of the day, so it is lighter compared to lunch. It is common for dinner to consists of one course and a dessert. However, Spaniards usually also have a late afternoon snack which they refer to as “la merienda”. This usually takes place around 18.00.


Each region in Spain has their own special dishes they are known for. The region Andalucia is known for being both coastal and rural. This particular region is known for its use of olive oil. While many other regions in Spain also use olive oil during cooking, this is not as much as the Andalucians. The most popular dish from this region is probably gazpacho. This dish is known all over the world. This dish is a cold soup which is made from a couple of ingredients. It is made from vinegar, water, salt, olive oil and bread. If you visit this region you will also find that many snacks are made from olives. Meat dishes are also common. For example, oxtail stew is a famous dish from this region. The region is also known for its cured meats. You will be able to find Serrano ham and Iberico ham throughout Spain which comes from this region.


Another famous region is Spain is Catalonia. The cuisine of this particular region is based on their rural culture. Not only is it very extensive but it is also known for its culinary wealth. Interestingly, the first cookbook was written in Catalonia. The food from this reason is often described to be a combination of seafood, interior and mountain ingredients. Some of the most popular dishes from this region include escudella and tomato bread. You will notice that it is common to eat a slice of toast with a tomato spread before actually having your main dish.

Canary Islands

The Canary Islands are also part of  Spain and are located in the Atlantic Ocean. The most commonly used types of food on these islands are potatoes and fish. Over the past couple of year, fruits, pork meats and cheese have also become part of the Canarian cuisine. Since the islands are geographically close to the African continent, many tropical fruits grow on the islands. Some of these fruits include yams, mangoes, avocados and bananas. The indigenous people from the islands have always consumed gofio. Gofio is a type of flour which is made from various types of toasted grains. Gofio, goat and shellfish are considered to be the staple foods of the indigenous people on these islands. One of the most popular desserts on the islands are truchas. Truchas are pastries which are filled with pumpkin or with sweet potato. You will also find that guesillo is a popular dessert. This dessert is a type of flan which is made from condensed milk. Wines are also commonly found on the islands. The wine called Malvasia wine comes from the island Lanzarote. This type of wine had become internationally recognized and is sold in many places in the world.

Most popular recipes

Spain probably most well-known for its tapas. Tapas are small dishes which are commonly served in bars and restaurants. One type of tapas is croquettes. Croquettes are a must-try in Spain! They can be made with various ingredients. Some of the most famous types of croquettes are made from cod fish or cured ham in béchamel sauce. This is then breaded and deep-fried. You will also find croquettes which contain cheese. If you want to try the unique Spanish croquettes, try those with blue cheese or those which are made from spicy black sausage. Another popular Spanish dish is the tortilla Espanola. This refers to the Spanish omelet. You will see that omelets can be served for breakfast, lunch or for dinner. While many people think of omelet as just being eggs, in Spain they are made from potatoes and eggs. Just like croquettes, you will see that omelets are commonly served in bars and restaurants. There is no agreement as to whether how an actual Spanish omelet should be cooked. You will see that omelet might also contain caramelized onions and olive oil.

Famous bean stews

Another famous type of food Spain is known for is its bean stews. The bean stews are a combination of vegetables and beans. There are a few regions which are specifically known for their famous bean stews. For example, the Asturias region is known for its creamy and tender white beans. They are the main ingredient in the bean stew called Fabada Asturiana. Spanish beans are not only popular in Spain but they are also commonly sold in other large supermarkets around the world. Spain grows more than twenty different types of beans. Some of these beans have even been declared to be a protected type of beans.

Spanish drinks

It is very common to drink with meals in Spain. Whether this meal is breakfast, lunch or dinner you will commonly see that alcohol is served. For example, with breakfast it is not unusual to have a glass of cava. Cava is Spanish sparkling wine which is often drunk with a tapas. Spain is also known for its culture of gin and tonic. Thus you will also see that this drink is commonly served. Two of the most famous drinks in Spain are tinto de verano and rebujito. Tinto de verano is also known as the summer wine since it is perfect during a hot summer day. Rebujito is white sangria which is a mix of white wine and lemonade. This drink is then topped with some fresh mint. Tinto de verano is red wine combined with lemon soda. Spain is, however, known for sangria. While many people consume sangria all over the world, it is not as popular in Spain as many people think.


Article written by: SarahAjaoud
Times read: 1467x
Added: 16-02-2017 22:33
Last modified: 26-05-2017 23:00

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